On Tuesday, October 4, 2022, the Merced County Sheriff's Office announced that Jesus Manuel Salgado, who was a person of interest in the recent kidnapping of a California family, was arrested. The 48-year-old suspect was taken into custody after surveillance cameras caught him at a bank in the city of Atwater.
On Monday, October 3, Amandeep Singh and his family, including Jasdeep Singh, Jasleen Kaur, and eight-month-old Aroohi Dheri, were reported missing. In the early hours of Tuesday, Merced County Sheriff Detectives were notified of activity on one of the victims' ATM cards in Atwater. Surveillance footage confirmed that he matched the description of the man who was seen at the scene of the kidnapping. But before he was taken into custody by Merced County officers and local law enforcement, Jesus Manuel Salgado tried to take his own life.
In a Facebook post, the Merced County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Jesus Manuel Salgado was in police custody and is currently undergoing medical treatment. He is said to be in critical condition.
"On October 4, 2022, in the morning hours, Merced County Sheriff Detectives received information that one of the victim’s ATM cards was used at an ATM located at a bank in the City of Atwater. Investigators obtained the surveillance photo of a subject making a bank transaction where the person is similar in appearance to the surveillance photo from the original kidnapping scene."
The statement further read,
"Prior to law enforcement involvement, [Jesus Manuel] Salgado attempted to take his own life. Salgado is in our custody, currently receiving medical attention and in critical condition."
The four victims are still missing. According to Merced County Sheriff Vernon Warnke, no ransom demand has been made yet.
What is known about Amandeep Singh and his family's disappearance? Police investigate as Jesus Manuel Salgado is taken into custody
On Monday, California fire officials responded to a report of a 2020 Dodge Ram truck that was on fire in Winton. Investigations revealed that the vehicle was registered to Amandeep Singh. All attempts to contact him, however, were futile. When family members could not get in touch with Singh either, they reported him missing along with his brother, Jasdeep Singh, the latter's wife, Jasleen Kaur, and their infant daughter.
Around 1 pm on Monday, October 3, the Merced County Sheriff's Office shared that the family was kidnapped in the 800 block of South Highway 59 in the southern Merced area. In a Facebook post, they said:
"The Merced County Sheriff’s Office asking the public’s help in locating four missing persons who were kidnapped from the South Merced Area of Merced County."
The post further read,
"Currently Detectives are looking for 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri. Detectives believe that Aroohi and her mother Jasleen Kaur (27) & father Jasdeep Singh (36) were taken against their will from a business in the 800 Block of South Highway 59. The Baby’s Uncle Amandeep Singh (39) was also taken against his will with the other family members."
Investigations led police to Jesus Manuel Salgado, who was caught using one of the victims' ATM cards in the nearby city of Atwater. Before he could be apprehended, he tried to die by suicide and is presently in a critical condition. Merced County Sheriff Vernon Warnke believes that the "individuals involved" are destroying evidence as they try to cover their tracks. Jesus Manuel Salgado's involvement is still unknown.
Police have asked the public for any possible help in tracking down the missing family. People have been asked to contact the Investigations Bureau at 209.385.7445.